How To Be Confident In Any Situation by Marisa Peer
I’m always very flattered and indeed excited when people come to me and say, “I heard you’re the best,” or, “I just wanted to see you.”
People come to me for everything from fears, phobias, addictions, to wanting to improve their golf game, to wanting to write a book, to speak on stage, to be the best in their chosen career.
And I found that one of the things that makes me as a therapist so successful is breaking down what’s wrong with my clients. And I found that with all my clients all over the world, rich or poor, young or old, beautiful or ordinary, they all have really only three issues.
One is, “I’m just not enough, “and ’cause I’m not enough I need more, “more praise, more love, more things.” And when you feel not enough, you’ll always need more. But more will never make you feel enough, because it’s an emotional feeling you’re trying to fix with external stuff.
The second thing I found wrong was this, “I’m different, “’cause I’m different I can’t connect.” And you have to remember, as tribes people, our whole survival was linked to one thing, connecting to the tribe, knowing I’m like them, and they’re like me and I’m safely going to make it if I’m lucky. So without that, it’s very very scary.
The third one is an interesting one, “I want something but it’s not available to me.” “I want to be free of depression, “but I’ve got the depression gene.” “I want to find love, but my dad never saw me, “so I know I’m unlovable.” “I want to be happy or successful, “but I didn’t go to university, “people like me never make it.” And people say, “Well, how did you know all of this stuff?”
Number two, that was a big thing for me. I was the head teacher, the principal’s daughter. I go to school at 11, these eight-year-old kids would go, “I hate your dad,” and say some swear word.
And I couldn’t do anything, I was 11 years old, but I felt so different, I always felt different. I thought I was hideous, I thought I was ugly, I thought I was stupid. And I felt so different.
And I had the label, “Oh, you’re the head teacher’s daughter.” Everything was expected of me, and I could never meet those expectations.
And then one day I realized that I picked up that belief, but I kept it going, it became self-perpetuating, I constantly would say, “I’m different, “I’m too tall.”
And I realized the truth. If our greatest fear is being different, and you and I have that fear, what does that make us? You know what it makes us, it makes us the same. If your greatest fear is to be different, and that is everyone’s greatest fear.
The very fact that you have that fear means you’re the same as me, and I’m the same as you. And in that moment, I let that fear go. I erased it and it change my life. And now I never feel different.
I feel the same as everyone. I always look for what makes me the same, even if I’m working with someone who is morbidly obese and they go, “Look at you, your legs are like twigs.”
If you look for what makes you the same, and not for what makes you different, you’ll find your bond. We like people who are like us. And we like people who share our vulnerabilities. Never try to be perfect.
That’s too different, ’cause those people don’t exist. So, that was transformational for me. Stop looking for what makes you different, which I always did at my father’s school. And look for what makes you the same.
It’s an amazing thing. If you look for horrible people, find them. Look for aggressive dogs or dogs that are like pussy cats and just want to lie in your lap and be your baby.
‘Cause whatever you look for, you find. And of course, the not enough. That was huge for me too. I never felt enough because my father was my principal. And he was paid to look after other kids, but not me, I was the one at home.
And so, I always felt not enough. Not smart enough, not interesting enough, certainly not attractive enough, I thought I had nothing to offer.
And I was actually going to be a nanny, ’cause that’s how low my self-worth was. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a nanny.
I always thought I couldn’t have children I thought well that’d be great for me. If I can’t have children, at least I can look after someone else’s.
Decided I was more than enough. And actually I had my own baby. It was so easy. And now, I help other people believe they’re enough.
Well, I actually had that too. My brother was a smart kid who went to private school. My sister also went to private school. I went to the not private school ’cause I was not the smart one.
My sister was beautiful and just engaging, and the most gorgeous baby. And my brother was smart. And I was this thing in the middle. And I really believed that what I wanted was not available to me.
When I was told I couldn’t have a child, I knew in that instance, I had a voice in my head to say, “Don’t let that in, “if you let in those words, it becomes unavailable.” I said to the doctor, “I can’t listen to this, I’m leaving.” Luckily I didn’t ’cause I had a perfect baby.
And so, it was very important for me to decide what is available. I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t feel special. I didn’t feel significant, You know what? I can choose now to make that available. “I am significant. I do matter. You say this all the time.
And now I look back at that girl, who was so insecure, who didn’t think she was enough, who couldn’t connect ’cause she felt so different. And who felt that everything she wanted was not available.
I don’t even recognize that person. Of course, I know that was me. I remember many, many lonely nights and lonely days and issues.
But now, I look at my life, I have an amazing husband, a beautiful daughter, a wonderful house in LA, another one in London. I have clients who I love, amazing friends.
And I’m not saying that to brag, ’cause when I was a kid I couldn’t even of imagined the life I have now. I remember when I got a five-year diary one Christmas and I remember thinking in five years, when I fill this in, I’ll be a teacher and I’ll be married. And we’ll be living in a little house, teaching school.
There’s nothing wrong with that. My father was a teacher, but the universe had other plans. And when I believed in myself, I discovered I could do anything.
Write books, work on television, speak on stages, meet millionaires who say, “Oh, I’m so glad you’ve come to help me.” And I think, “Well, who am I? “Who am I? ‘Cause I’m just like you.”
If you can overcome those three blocks, you can overcome anything because behind every issue is always going to be, only going to be one of those three things and you have the power to go and I’m choosing now to believe I’m the same.”
You can choose the words you put into your head, the pictures you put in your head, even what you say to yourself, make better choices, it will change your life.